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The Gentleman's Library at Bonhams
The Gentleman's Library - Furnishings, science curiosities and eccentricities at Bonhams.

LONDON, ENGLAND.-Bonhams will hold The Gentleman’s Library – Furnishings, Science, Curiosities and Eccentricities on Tuesday 29 January, 2007. A fine selection of bookcases, desks, tables, chairs, stools, library ladders, coat and hat stands, rugs and carpets will be on offer. Also sure to attract interest will be a charming selection of apothecary boxes, globes, maps, telescopes and microscopes, along with the wide range of typical furnishings or accessories for a Gentleman’s library or study, such as micromosaic panels and maps, bronzes, busts, lamps and candlesticks, novelty walking canes, painting boxes and writing caskets, humidors, cigar cutters, fine silver inkstands and desk adornments.

Items of particular interest or ‘curiosity’ include: a Troop Standard of the Horse Grenadiers, £1,000 – 1,200; a Carrys New and Correct English Atlas, London 1787, £200 – 300; a Victorian brass skeleton clock, £300 – 500; a Marconi silver telegraph table lighter, 1912, £400 – 500; an Andrew Ross compound monocular microscope, c.1870, £250 – 350; a pair of brown crocodile wastepaper baskets, £150 – 200; two crocodile covered brass thermos flasks, £150 – 200; an Asprey’s crocodile desk set, £300 – 500; a 1½ inch refracting telescope on stand, £300 – 400; a narwhale walking cane, 19th century, £300 – 400; an apothecary’s chest, mid 19th century, £250 – 350; an interesting collection of approximately 325 microscope specimen slides, late 19th century, £400 – 600; an Asprey’s Le Coultre travelling timepiece and weather station, 1920s, £250 – 350; a Mr Punch tobacconist cigar lighter, late 19th century, £200 – 300; a complete iron meteorite, £500 – 700; a tiger skin with head, £1,000 – 1,500; an Elephant’s foot stool; a Coco de Mer nut, 19th century, £100 – 150; a Victorian scale model of a steam yacht, £2,500 – 3,000; a 19th century rhino horn and gold mounted horse whip, £200 – 250; A George III silver eye bath, £500 – 800; a Victorian silver moustache guard, £150 – 200; a Damascus rosewood folding games board, c. 1880, £150 – 250; a Victorian ivory tusk page turner, £80 – 120; a Moose head, £300 – 500; an oak table letter box, £4,000 – 6,000; a pair of 16-inch Gilman Joslin library globes, £25,000 – 35,000; an important shell cabinet of curiosities, £3,000 – 5,000; and a pair of monumental and magnificent brass candle standards that were commissioned for King’s College Chapel, Cambridge in 1870, £30,000 – 40,000.

These items were sourced from Bonhams’ salerooms and offices throughout the country, and the introduction of this new themed sale into the auction calendar has proved a great success. Robert Bleasdale, UK Group Managing Director for Bonhams, is delighted with the sale’s progress.

“The original idea was to create a sale that would bring together the essential atmosphere in a gentleman’s library,” he said. “These unusual items attract private collectors and individuals who are fascinated by the content of the sale. The huge interest generated by these obscure and curious lots as well as the traditional furniture is reflective of the resurgence of luxury living and the pursuit of pastimes of old. We are confident that the 2007 sale will be hugely successful.”

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